Selling a home is no small undertaking and is likely one of the largest financial decisions of your life. And that’s why most people need an experienced agent to guide them through the whole process to a successful and profitable conclusion. But with all the agents out there bombarding you with signs and ads and other marketing tricks, how do you know which one to choose? To help you out, here are 5 tips for finding a great Santa Cruz real estate agent to help you sell your house.
1.Understand the Characteristics of a Great Santa Cruz Real Estate Agent
Finding a great Santa Cruz real estate agent begins with understanding the characteristics and attributes of such an agent. You have to know what you’re looking for in order to know when you’ve found it. Also, you’ll be entering into a months-long relationship with your agent, so you need an agent who will be a good fit and one you can relate to.
Here are some of the things to look for:
- Plenty of relevant experience
- Appropriate education and training
- Broad professional network
- Top-notch negotiation skills
- Effective communication
- Availability and accessibility
“Finally, ask for a personal guarantee. If the agent won’t guarantee performance and release you from a listing upon request, don’t hire that agent.
2. Get Referrals and Research Candidates
Your next step toward finding a great Santa Cruz real estate agent is to get referrals and then research the potential candidates.
“Ask friends and family members if they can recommend a real estate agent with whom they’ve had a good experience. Ideally, you’ll want someone with experience working with clients who are similar to you. The needs of first-time buyers, for example, are different than those of repeat buyers or homeowners who are looking to downsize.”
Then, once you have several possibilities in mind, do some research on them. Begin by checking candidates’ online presence, that is, their websites and social media channels. And be sure to check out online reviews, especially on the trusted third-party review sites. It’s also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints.
3. Request References and Interview Three Agents
Now that you’ve gotten referrals and done some research, you should have a pretty solid shortlist of candidates. Your next steps in finding a great Santa Cruz real estate agent, then, are to get references and interview at least three agents.
“Ask real estate agents to provide information on homes they’ve listed and sold in the past year, with contact information for at least a few recent clients. Call those clients to find out their experience and what type of support the agent provided throughout the process, including during the negotiations. Ask if they’d hire that agent again for their next real estate transaction.”
During the interviews, you should not only try to find out about an agent’s experience, strategies, and style, but you should also be trying to determine whether that agent would be a good fit. An agent should understand your market and be able to meet your needs.
4. Review the Agent’s Track Record
Now it’s time to review the agent’s track record. A great Santa Cruz agent will be a top performer who consistently prices homes accurately and then gets them to closing.
Be sure, then, to ask a prospective agent about her average sale-to-list-price ratio, that is, the difference between the list price and the actual final sale price. The closer this ratio is to 100%, the better the agent is at accurate pricing. Even better is above100%, meaning that the agent consistently sells homes for more than the asking price.
You’ll also want to quiz the agent about the average time it takes her to close on a home. Of course, there are no guarantees here, but it helps to have a good idea of what to expect. If you are operating on a short timeline, you want to know your Santa Cruz real estate agent has a track record of closing quickly.
5. Review the Contract Carefully
The last step in choosing your Santa Cruz real estate agent involves carefully reviewing the contract. Of course, you should be able to agree to all the terms spelled out in the contract, but you want to pay particular attention to the length of the contract.
According to industry pros, you should “[l]ook for a contract limited to six months or less. In a competitive seller’s market [which is what currently obtains in most markets with the continuing low inventory], it can take less than 30 days to sell a home . . . If your contract is much longer than that and you still haven’t sold your home in a reasonable time frame, you want to be able to switch to another agent.”
The Easy Way to Find a Santa Cruz Real Estate Agent
Now if all this sounds like a lot of work to find a good agent, that’s because it is. But you can’t take a chance and go with just any old agent. There is, however, a way to shortcut the process: and that is by choosing an experienced agent from a reputable, top-notch agency. If you’re looking for a great Santa Cruz real estate agent to help you sell your house, then contact us today at 831-588-2334.